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Beat Blogging Burnout and Boost Your Bottom Line

As the dog days of summer drag on, are you feeling the heat? You know the kind of heat I'm talking about.....

The freshness of spring has worn off and been replaced with that seemingly endless, dragging feeling that fall might never arrive. You lost your new year zeal quite awhile back. It's the middle of the summer slow down; the pocketbook is feeling it. You're trying to focus forward to an exciting, and profitable holiday season. You need to end this year with a bang.

And then, on top of it all, you have your gosh darn blog to maintain. You're feeling dry and it's showing in your writing, and your stats. You're feeling the heat. You are just burned out on the whole shebang right now. You wonder at times if it is even worth it.

You wonder at times if it is even worth it.

It does, you know this. You know that, when done right, a blog with well-structured SEO can help to build a larger, more consistent audience, and enables you to pop into more and more search options.

If you are sitting there and truly wondering whether or not blogging is helpful, then you should READ THIS.

If I lost you at SEO, READ THIS instead.

By the end of your reading adventure, you should be well aware as to the benefits (and necessity) of having a blog.

What to do? Sigh.

First, you need to realize, you are not alone. I don't know a serious blogger who does not struggle with the same. The successful ones have learned how to manage burnout and experience it a whole lot less though. They keep that winning edge more consistently, without sacrificing sanity to do it.

How?

Use a three-pronged attack on blogging burnout.

Start with a foundation of caring for yourself, and keep it a priority. Remind yourself that nothing is worth sacrificing your health or sanity for.  Also keep in mind... if you don't care for yourself, who will lead your business when you are unable to? Think about it and keep yourself number one. Besides, you wouldn't treat others as you do yourself, now, would you?

So, first you will be nurturing yourself, but the second prong requires you to roll up your sleeves and get tough with yourself about the nitty gritty of blogging. Find ways to be more efficient in what you do, across the board. Becoming more productive is money in the bank, and less pressure on you. It creates a little breathing room. Ahhhhh. Yes, that. That is our goal.

The third prong is to not do it at all. Kinda'. I bet that threw you for a loop! No, I don't mean give up and close down your blog.

What I DO mean is, there are other ways. You should use them. And we will share what they are, after we delve into the details of applying the first two prongs. Besides, it is fun keeping you in suspense...

Prong One: Support Your Favorite Blogger

Your favorite blogger had better be yourself. Why? Because if you can't even interest yourself, it is doubtful you will stay interesting to others. I cannot imagine a comedian not laughing at his own jokes. It is the same with blogging. If you aren't your favorite blogger, then start working on becoming it.

Then I want you to start caring for your favorite blogger like you should. Treat yourself as well as you would others. It is a challenge, I know, but the future of your business depends on you having that edge. You can't get it and keep it if you are not nurturing yourself.

If you don't maintain your car, it can't keep on performing well indefinitely. So, we maintain them and it is a given in our lives. Surely you can treat yourself at least as well as you do your car. Just do it.

Nurture your body, mind, and spirit.

Eat right, move more. Stress less, learn more. Speak less, listen more. Mostly, we know these things. It is applying them consistently that trips us up. Commit to it and do the work to develop the habits you need to support yourself.

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Sometimes, we are weak with those “no's” because we aren't solid our priorities. I love the meme I see floating around that says something about replacing the words “I don't have time” with “It is not a priority to me”. How powerful!

To apply that and see things in an all new light, get out a sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to draw a line down the middle. On the left side, put a header that says: My Priorities. Over the right hand column, write: NOT a Priority.

Now you will list everything you do every day.....in the appropriate column. Include those things you should do but never seem to find time for. Also list those things that are vying for attention they should not have. Then add the items others are asking you to do, but you know, deep down, you shouldn't.

Some examples:
  • My left hand column includes most REAL work activities. It does not count looking-like-I-am-working activities like watching random videos on YouTube, stalking social media to see what's up, chit chatting, or getting lost in fascinations on Google.
  • The left hand column also includes the stuff I consider priority but don't find enough time for: targeted exercise, eating, sleeping, brushing my hair......and time with those I love.
  • My right hand column includes: selling an MLM product for a friend just because I love her, social events I have no desire to attend, and every back-burner project I have in varying states of incompleteness. The work activities in my “Priority” column are front burner projects only.

When you feel the lists are complete, I want you to get some scissors. Cut off the right hand side of the paper. Ball it up and throw it away. The remaining list is what you will be doing daily. Now we will move on to how to do that list more efficiently.

Prong Two: Get Tough About Productivity

Now that you have eliminated all the things that are not a priority, you can focus on those that are. Most likely, the items you listed as priority, but you are not consistently doing, can be managed with a good dose of self-discipline. Start working on developing the habits you need to do those items and do them efficiently. Again, just do it. Nobody enjoys establishing new habits, but they sure do offer a great return in increased productivity, without wearing out your hard working brain.

Another strategy that frees your mind up for better things is to create work flow systems. Any time you have to do the same thing repeatedly, develop a system for it, follow it, then you can throw your cheat sheet away after awhile. You will naturally follow the system and be much faster.

Examples:
  • When I sit down to write, I don't have to think about what step is next. I automatically jot down any research I need to do, do it, create an outline, write a first draft, take a breather, go back and edit and tweak, send it in, invoice for it, job done. I never do it another way because I have found what works best for me.
  • When I do what I call my social media fly-bys, I use a system and do it the same way every day. I check out stats for every account, and check messages and comments I missed while I was sleeping. I reply where needed. Then, onto my “On This Day” to see if there is anything I want to reuse. Next, I check out my feed. I save posts I'd like to share purposely later. Then I show the love by flitting around liking and commenting, and I check on anyone who is on my heart and I've not “seen” in awhile. I always do it the same way....and yes, I time it. I knew you would immediately wonder how I managed such a potential time suck.

When you feel the lists are complete, I want you to get some scissors. Cut off the right hand side of the paper. Ball it up and throw it away. The remaining list is what you will be doing daily. Now we will move on to how to do that list more efficiently.

One more word about the value of having systems in place.

One more word about the value of having systems in place. What is not included in the system is just as important as what is. You will notice my work flow for writing does not include dozens of pre-writing activities we tend to use to procrastinate. My social media workflow does not include game time or chit chatting just to be doing it. I chat with purpose. 

That brings me to another tool you can use to relieve some of the pressure you feel. Make rules for yourself. Write them down. Have rewards and consequences. Then do it and enforce them.  When you are an entrepreneur, there are times you have to kick your own butt into gear. Be tough about sticking to your rules.

Examples of rules I use:
  • My morning social media fly by is thirty minutes long and I reward myself with some music therapy afterwards if I don't go over. I use that time to dance around, get the blood pumping, and tackle some household tasks. When I go over my thirty minutes, those tasks are going to be waiting for me when I am done for the day, and I must get right to work.
  • I'm not allowed to get my evening glass of wine if I don't hit my writing goals
  • My reward for knocking off my daily task list early is I get to work on back burner projects.

You know your weak areas. Create rules that address them and then don't cut yourself much slack.

Prong Three: Don't Do It All Yourself

There are other ways to get posts done with little, or even no effort. When you start feeling burned out, fall back on these to lighten the load and still keep your blog active and interesting:

Use guest bloggers.

It doesn't get much easier than this. Invite a blogging friend to contribute a post. The guest benefits from reaching your audience, and you benefit the same way because they will share the post with theirs. It benefits your audience because they get to enjoy a little variety.It doesn't get much easier than this. Invite a blogging friend to contribute a post. The guest benefits from reaching your audience, and you benefit the same way because they will share the post with theirs. It benefits your audience because they get to enjoy a little variety.

You don't have blogging friends in your niche? Get some. Those people are not your enemies, but the ones you want to network with.. You will always be more successful by working with competitors instead of against them. Seeing them as somehow being “the enemy” is a rotten mindset that won't take you far.

Invest in some good PLR.

Quality PLR can be a lifesaver when you are feeling uninspired and brain dead. It can also be a total waste of your time and money if you don't do it right. Making it your own is more than using a thesaurus to switch out some words, or rearranging things a bit. That's just lazy....and a waste of time. There will be no life in it.

Quality PLR can be a lifesaver when you are feeling uninspired and brain dead. It can also be a total waste of your time and money if you don't do it right. Making it your own is more than using a thesaurus to switch out some words, or rearranging things a bit. That's just lazy....and a waste of time. There will be no life in it.

The way I use PLR comes from a particular homeschooling discipline, narration, made popular by Charlotte Mason. It's simply the process of repeating back, accurately, what you have just read. It is a valuable skill to have. So, I take my PLR, read a chunk, then without cheating and peeking at it, I just write what I read in my own words. I get the raw information down that way, then go back, edit, and polish it. Job done, with very little effort.

Using PLR eliminates the steps of researching and outlining. Then, if you use the tool of narration to make it your own, all that's left to do is a little bit of editing and some polish.

Hire a ghostwriter.

This is another effortless way to keep your blog going while taking a break from it yourself. When you use a ghostwriter, your name is on it, they are legally your words and you get all the glory, while somebody else does all the work.This is another effortless way to keep your blog going while taking a break from it yourself. When you use a ghostwriter, your name is on it, they are legally your words and you get all the glory, while somebody else does all the work.

A benefit of using a ghostwriter is you don't even have to put time into polishing it, making sure it's optimized to appeal to search engines, and fixing grammatical errors. Every bit of that is taken care of for you. You can publish your ghostwritten pieces with confidence that they are professionally written. All you have to do is schedule them. That's as close to a vacation from your blog as you can get without shutting it down.

Using ghostwriters also comes in handy when you are anything but burned out and are wanting to put more time into other pursuits. Most of us have back burner projects we are anxious to get to. Hiring somebody else to do the actual writing of your blog posts can free you up enough to slide one of them to a front burner.

I hope you are coming away from this with ideas you will implement right away.... if not to fix burnout, then to prevent it. I will add one last tip that applies to any type of business, not just blogging.

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Be your own boss, but don't be a Lone Ranger.

Develop relationships with others who do what you do. They understand your challenges. They can also have insights in areas you are stumped. Join business groups, whether it is your local Chamber of Commerce, an online Mastermind group, or a Facebook group.

Find the people who are successfully doing what you aspire to do... or are struggling to do. Watch them, learn from them... and give back. When you get good in, give it back out and help somebody else. We are all in this together. We can work against one another and stay all stressed out, or we can work together and everyone benefits. Find your tribe and if you can't, create one.

Do you have a favorite tip or tactic you use to help prevent, or recover from, blog burnout?

  • We'd love to hear it! Simply comment below.

Do you need peer support?

Does hiring a ghostwriter sound like the answer for you?

  • We have slashed prices on our blog post packages by a third, AND added a very exciting free bonus ($750 value, whaaaaat!), but the offer ends soon (July 17th, 2017!!).

CLICK HERE: Sassy Lasses Summer Blog Content Creation Package

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Broken Links and SEO; the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

A few weeks ago, we spent some time talking about SEO, what it is and how it affects your business. (Read it HERE if you missed it). I'm always looking for ways to support you and while I was working on a client website review, I ran into a long list of broken links and it made me wonder...
 
Do you all know what a broken link is and it can affect your SEO and thereby your business?

Truth Bomb

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Any good webmaster knows that responsibilities do not end when the website goes “live”. Your responsibilities extend beyond setup and need consistent management. It's not a set-it-and-forget-it aspect of your business but a dynamic, ever-changing tool of growth and marketing.
 
One of the most crucial responsibilities of a webmaster is to check for broken links to the website. (A webmaster can be a hired contractor, the original designer, or even the website owner themselves.) Broken links can be one of the worst things that can happen to a website.
 
Bet I know what you are thinking… “How can an old, dead, never used link make any difference to anything, it doesn’t work!?”

What Breaks a Link?

Broken links can happen on your website for a variety of reasons but results in a user clicking on a link that fails.

  • User error such as typos
  • The destination website removed the linked web page (AKA a 404 error)
  • Link destination has been permanently moved or no longer exists
  • The website owner linked to a site that is behind a firewall that does not allow outside access (such as an Intranet site or a restricted access area on a website).
Hyperlinks aid in the navigation around the website and directs users to related sources. A website without links is like a ton of documents piled one on top of the other, with no rhyme or reason, and no intelligent way for you to retrieve information.
 
Link management is a very important and essential part of maintaining a website. Broken links may be detrimental to the traffic generated by the website.

Damaging Data

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but as a small business or entrepreneur, your reputation matters. As our society continues to progress online presence is becoming a well-known term. Did you know that broken links can actually DAMAGE your online presence?
 
From a technical perspective, broken links can stop search engine robots (crawlers) dead in their tracks. It prevents crawlers from completely mapping out a website for search engines. Websites which contain broken links looks unprofessional to visitors and image is hard to change after the fact. Visitors who have troubles navigating your website will not return! This is tantamount to losing prospective clients. Remember the last time you went to a site that didn't work? How long did you stay there?
 
Even your most diehard fans will jump ship if you make it hard. We're in the age of easy... right?

How Do I Fix Broken Links?

As internet users become more and more sophisticated, it will take website owners more effort to entice these users to visit their websites. You know what? Broken hyperlinks will not help this very difficult process in any way.
 
There are resources out there to help you get your broken links under control and improve your user experience and I’m going to share MY favorite 3 tools with you!
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1. Xenu’s Link Sleuth

This tool makes me happy. It’s an app that you can install onto your Windows which will take your main URL and runs a comprehensive scan that checks for broken links, images, backgrounds, styles, sheets, frames, duplicated links, site structure and everything in between.

In my opinion, the only drawbacks are the user interface, which feels old school and outdated, and the fact that it only runs on Windows. (Feel free to check out Screaming Frog as a Mac based alternative)

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2. Google’s Webmaster Tools

We all know what a FORCE Google has become, and your ranking on that engine is a big deal to your presence and traffic. What better way top understand this than to use the tools provided from Google themselves?

Sassy Lasses uses this all the time, because the data they give you will tell you exactly how to optimize.

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3. WooRank

Hands down my favorite premium tool. This online based platform ill run a thorough check of your website and provide details on everything – literally.

They have a free trail which I recommend everyone give a whirl too. Running the diagnostic will give you a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t and supplies steps to help you correct any issues.

Hopefully you found this informative, but if you still feel lost or confused, or if you need a little support, give us a shout anytime – conversations are free!

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Nurture Your Tribe: Part 3 – Sharing the Love

If you have been following this series (Part 1 and Part 2) and applying it, you have now found your tribe (what others call a target market) and started developing relationships, both one-on-one, and as a whole. You do this via your Facebook business page. If you are a smart marketer (and of course, you are!), you are also managing a Facebook group that targets your tribe.

Targets your tribe? Huh?

To the outside world, that might conjure up images of somebody pinned to a range target. In reality though, tribes love being a target.

Why?

They enjoy being in your sights because you are there to meet their needs. That should be your reason anyway. I suppose, for some, it might be a fake reason, but we will assume your heart's desire is to serve through your business.

Having assumed that, we are now going to share some ways to nurture that growing tribe by sharing the LOVE:

  • L for Leading by Example
  • O for Offering Help
  • V for Value...though, it is not what you might think
  • E is for Encouragement

What you will find is when you love your tribe and help meet their needs, they love you back. It shows in your profits, no matter what kind of business you have. What you give out, comes back.

So, let's learn how to LOVE our tribes!

“L” is for Lead by Example

People are not as dumb as some folks wish they were. The fact is, you can fool some people for awhile, but the truth of who you are will show through eventually. Many don't give much thought to that aspect of being ready to own a business, until the consequences are staring them in the face.

If who you are and the brand image you are trying to project don't match, fix that first. You must be authentic. You will not last in a leadership position if you aren't.

Authenticity is important for a couple of reasons.

The obvious one being that you can only be a fake for so long before the real you oozes out when you don't wish it to. It will start ruining the image. If you are a vegan nutrition consultant, may you never be found pigging out at the local BBQ joint.

A  less obvious reason to be authentic is because it is ever-so-much easier. Seriously!

What a waste of energy it is to maintain lies. You have to remember them, after having to think of them to begin with. If you don't work at being consistent, you'll blow it. We can soften it by calling it “hiding our rougher edges”. We can declare that “what I do in my personal life is my business”.  The fact is though, to be one thing in public and another in private is to live a lie.

When you can get real about that, you can then decide to live that way no more. Do it, if you have not already. If there are ugly areas you wish to hide, clean them up and make them fit for company. Problem solved.

Now that you are committed to authenticity, promise yourself to…

Be consistent in who you are.

You are your brand. The goal is to be predictable. People will grow to expect you to be you, so don't rock their boats too often by deviating from what is your norm.

For example, part of my brand image is “Hippie Warrior of Love” so let's pretend 90% of all my posts support that. Then imagine that about once a week or so, I come out with a vehement rant. Not the humorous kind, or a little harmless venting, or throwing something cute out to rev up traffic... but the out-for-blood type. 

Pretend I am feeling taken advantage of and by gosh golly, I am going to get even. It is not enough to remove myself from the situation, I want revenge and won't rest until I get it. I am blabbing on and on about it (we want support for our poor behavior, right?). That is so far out in left field from the vibe I normally project, every time I do that, I create doubt in people's minds about my authenticity.

Am I so together that I never get irritated? Heck no. I am human, and an Irish human to boot, so the potential for drama is there. I choose to walk in peace. I don't go down to their level, but battle on the higher road and do my best to stick to it. It is who I chose to be, therefore, I am.

Again, it comes down to making sure that what you are putting out there is true to begin with. If what is true is also ugly, deal with that, so you are the person of integrity you project. That consistent, authentic person is who they will grow to trust, and count on to offer help is being a leader they can trust.

“O” is for Offer Help

An important thing to remember when offering help to your tribe is the 80/20 Rule. Make 80% of your posts about everything BUT your promotions.

Yes, the big picture goal is to sell your solutions and make money. But there are better ways to get there than by shoving them down people's throats day in and day out. All that will do is get you tuned out.

When you LOVE your tribe, you want to help meet their needs even when the answer is not you. That doesn't necessarily mean you only share others' products either. Focus more on what your tribe's actual needs are, and on finding ways to meet them. Then creating and sharing posts that accomplish that will become easy and natural.

Keep their needs in front of you and you will notice that article or post that will be of help to them. Share it.

When they are on your mind and you meet somebody, who would be a valuable resource to them, you think of them. Share the connection.

If the back of your mind is always churning on how you can help them...you'll notice that amazing gizmo that will transform their lives. Then you'll run to get online and share it with them.

That steadfast focus on their needs makes it easy to find the 80% non-promotional posts. Then they will trust you when you post the other 20% that tells them your product is the answer for their need. That love you show by nurturing them and putting them first will pay off. The key though is to see the pay off as the icing. Meeting needs is what you do.

That different mindset is behind our next point as well...

“V” is for Value

Each tribe member is a potential customer with monetary value to you. That is not our focus here though. Our focus is on how you should value them. It is a different mindset. The former says they are there to serve you. The latter says you are there to serve them. You are not lord over your tribe, but servant to them.

Adopting that perspective is powerful. That is heart-centered marketing. That is the way to thrive in business. Then there is the added bonus of getting to sleep soundly at night, knowing you are making a difference in people's lives.

Like I said earlier, people are not as dumb as some wish they were. They can tell when you care. Value them, not just for the money they can bring in. Care about them. Be concerned for their needs. Put real effort into meeting those needs. Sometimes, it can be as simple as something to make them smile.

“E” is for Encouragement

If there is one thing everyone could use, even if they don't want to admit it... it is encouragement. It doesn't matter what niche you serve, who your tribe is, or what it is you sell. If you encourage people, they feel good, and come back for more.

Rich folks need it. The perfect specimens of health need it. The beautiful people... they need it too. The super-heroes and champions... the wildly successful. All those people who have the things we think are so important. We tend to think they lack for nothing. They still glow when encouraged.

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes says” I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Make them feel good. Build them up. Praise them. Tell them you are proud. Show unconditional love and I promise you, they will keep coming back for more....and bring their friends with them. Think about the people in your life who encourage you and make you feel good. Would you walk away from that for no good reason? Nope. Not likely. Neither will your tribe, when your concern is genuine and you dare to show it.

Do YOU Dare to L.O.V.E Your Tribe?

I said, “dare to” because loving others involves risk. Anyone who has ever had a broken heart understands that. Putting out love risks rejection, betrayal, ridicule, getting bad juju back for your trouble... it risks getting hurt. The fact it happens is real...and the pain of it is real too.

But you can decide to love anyway.

You can love when it hurts. You can love when it is inconvenient. You can love when those you love don't deserve it. You love because it is in you to give and others need it. The fact that they respond to it is just a matter of you getting back some of the good you put out.

What are some of the ways you show your love and nurture your tribe? How do they respond to it? We'd love to hear all about your experiences, so feel free to comment. Let's talk!

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SEO to Grow: How SEO Affects Your Business

E-commerce is, well, can be, known as a cut-throat business. You must arm yourself with all the proper knowledge and the tools to make your site better than the rest. Every day, more and more websites are climbing onto the bandwagon to optimize their websites to climb up the rankings. If you drop your guard, you may well be trampled on and left in the void filled with so many failed e-commerce sites.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has 2 major functions; draw crawlers from search engine connections and build an index of the data it collects. Moz.com uses a great analogy in their Beginners Guide to SEO - think of the world-wide web as a network of stops in a big city subway system. It's a means for the search engines to navigate the entire network while finding and cataloguing all the content on the way. I like to call them crawlers. (Plus, doesn't thinking of them as little data-hungry critters make it more fun?)

Links are what allow the crawlers to meander their way around. Once found, they absorb the details and store the most relevant information into a database. Search Engines are the means to access the networks of data caches these crawlers have pulled together. What does this mean to you? The better a crawler can see and access your web information, and the more relevant it is (plus a few other factors) means better search result placement.

Why is Placement Important?

In truth, most people that use search engines only bother with the ten top search results in the first page. Making it to the first page, more so to the top three is a barometer of a sites success in search engine optimization. You will get a higher chance of being clicked on when you rank high. The more traffic for your site, the more business you rake in. You need search engine optimization to be near or at the top of page one to make your site an income generating one. With this in mind, it is imperative to make your site better and better everyday.

By utilising search engine optimization, you get the benefit of generating a high traffic volume. For argument's sake, let’s say you can achieve successful sales with around 10 to 20 percent of your traffic. If you get a hundred visits or more to your site a day, you'll get a fair turn of sales. But if your site manages only twenty or fewer visits a day, you'll only get one or two sales, or worse, maybe none at all.

So… What IS Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the technique of utilizing tools and methods to make your site top ranking in the results of search engines. Getting yourself in the first page and better yet in the top half of that page will ensure that your site will generate public awareness of your site’s existence and subsequently generate more traffic. That traffic could lead to potential sales, which means generating an income for your business.

Search engine optimization does require a lot of work to achieve the best results. There are many aspects you have to change or add within your site to get search engine optimization. These will include getting lots of information about the keyword phrases that are popular in regards to your site's niche or theme.

Things You Need To Do

Thankfully there are many plugins and programs out there now that will greatly improve your ability to do this with little to no previous experience. We are a fan of the Yeost plugin for WordPress, which you can check out here.  Though even with the help of a good SEO tool, you will likely need to adjust each area of your website.

For instance, you may need to rewrite portions of your site's content so that you get the right keyword phrases in your content without making it too contrived. Better to keep that content light and informative. There are certain rules and guidelines to be followed to make your website’s content applicable to search engine optimization.

You will also need to collaborate with many other website owners in order to acquire link exchanges and page transfers. The more inbound links you can procure, the higher level of importance the search engines will bestow on your site and your page rank will increase.

Google recommends that you aim to make pages for your users and their experiences, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, a practice commonly referred to as "cloaking." Try instead to create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.

Bing recommends making sure your content isn’t buried inside rich media (Flash, JavaScript, Ajax, etc) and that rich media isn’t hiding your link connections from the crawlers.

Wow, How Can I Do All This?

Search the internet for as much useful help as you can get. Tips, guidelines and methods for search engine optimization are plentiful and can be found easily and be had for free. Read as many free articles as you can that will help you optimize your site in the search engine results.

The more knowledge and information you acquire, the better. This will all go towards helping you in obtaining those high rankings. This will require a fair amount of time and effort on your part but the benefits will easily make up for it in the long run.

If you can afford to part with some money, there are plenty of sites on the internet that can help you with search engine optimization for a fee. There are sites that help in tracking keyword phrases which will be of value to your site. There are also a good many content writers who have lots of experience in making good keyword laden and good quality content for websites.

So act now and in due time you will see the benefits garner with search engine optimization. All of this will result to better traffic and more business for your site and business.

Need More Help? Book Free Consult Below!

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Are You Authentic, or Just a Little Weird?

Authenticity. It is the cry of the masses for something real. It's also a super-popular buzz
phrase right now. Books are being written about it. We seek it in others. We strive to be
authentic ourselves, but are we authentic, really? Do we even know what it means?

What IS Being Authentic Anyways?

If we draw a conclusion based upon what we see around us, and as people jump on that authenticity bandwagon, we might think being authentic means you are just letting your weird hang out.
 
My American Heritage Dictionary defines authenticity as the quality or condition of being genuine. Genuine, it defines as “actually possessing the alleged or apparent
attribute."
 
What that means is, your weird should only hang out if you are genuinely, truly
weird. If you actually ARE weird, by all means, let your odd little light shine. But the value of authenticity is not necessarily in weirdness, but in simply being who you are, without compromise.
 
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Like many things though, it takes some effort to walk out consistently. Most of us have developed a bad habit over the years....the habit of hiding the truth of who we are.

Why Do We Hide Ourselves Away?

Usually, it is a simple fear of what others will think. So we pick a mask and start wearing it.
 
If you do something long enough, it becomes a habit. When you factor in that most of us
have been receiving messages from birth to blend in, not rock the boat, tone ourselves
down etc....well, often it seems much more natural to be the fake version of ourselves. After a time, it can become difficult to know where the real you ends and the act begins.
 
If you want to be effective in your business, in your life, in making your contribution to the whole of mankind....acting like something you are not must end.
 
You must understand that you are your gift to this world. Not the make-believe version of you, but the real you. When you hold back the parts the world needs, well, it's like having one missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle. You can try to put something else in there to make it look right, but it never will. Only that one piece makes it complete.
 
You are that one special piece in a great big, rather impersonal world. YOU matter. Not just a little bit. There are gifts within you that nobody else can give.

Don't Deprive the World of Your Unique You!

You might be thinking, “but if I am my true self, my business will suffer because people will not like the real me”. Don't you dare run with that conversation in your head. Let me tell you why...
 
First of all, how do you know people will not adore the real you if you don't give them a chance to see who that is? You don't know. Enough said on that.
 
I can almost hear the “buts” coming at me now. But, nothing. If there are real parts of
you that aren't worthy of public consumption, become who you want to be. Don't fake it,
become it

Why Would You Want to Do the Crazy Thing and Be You, Only You, ALL THE TIME?

Because it is a super power. Yes, the gift of you is for the world....but it is for you as
well. Cool how that works. When you flow as you should, success becomes so effortless it seems magical. It's not that it takes any less work, but that the work you do, hits bulls eyes.
 
Remember, success is based upon relationships. Real relationships that develop trust. It is about finding your tribe and nurturing them. We recently did a post on that. If you
missed it, you can find it by CLICKING HERE!
 
If the tribe you find is based on a fake version of you that you think they want, there is
no power in it, and it is exhausting to keep up with. Yes, I know that from experience.
  
Okay. Hopefully, at this point, you have a new commitment to being genuinely who you
are. If not, go back, re-read this and ponder why you should, and when you are there with the rest of us, just jump back in at this point.
 
Woohoo! So here we are all fired up about being authentic.

Now What? How Do We DO That?

The first step is to discover for yourself who you are. Most of us, by the time we are adults, have already buried parts of us and started giving people what we think they want  
instead. As I said earlier, after awhile, fake seems more natural. You can lose track of the real you.
 
To find that person again, think back to when you were a child. What made you happy?
What did you do with all that free time you had as a child? How did you play when given free reign to play the way you want? What did you dream of doing when you grew
up?
 
I suggest you actually write these things down, hopefully in a journal. Then you can look back and enjoy seeing how you worked through the process and came back to who
you are.
 
Make a list of just random, off-the-top-of-your-head things you love. What makes you smile? What gives you peace? What makes you want to jump up and down with joy?
Cut loose with it and freely write whatever comes to mind. As you start getting in that vibe, you will feel it starting to come out easier and quicker. You've started unstopping the dam you created to hold yourself back. Go with it.
 
Don't limit yourself to things society deems appropriate for grown ups. If you loved to climb trees as a child, write it down and enjoy feeling what you'd feel when you climbed trees. Don't just remember it. Feel it. That feeling is you coming back to life

Doesn't it Feel Oh-So-Grand?

What is next? More of the same. You will find working on that project will become your happy place. You've found the amazing person you are and it feels fabulous. Now it is time to dabble in letting that inner child loose again.
 
This is the challenging part for most of us because it means you must trust. You must trust what I am saying, and trust yourself. But there is such magic on the other side, you will do it anyway.
 
Start indulging in the things you loved. Feed the parts of you that delight in what they need to grow. They will, and the results will be beautiful. You will begin to shine. People who are like you will sense that you are genuine and naturally gravitate towards you, and trust you.
 
Keep walking in that, growing in that, and sharing the real you with the world and it will respond. Sure, there will be those who reject the true you. It can even be family and
those closest to you. But stand strong and trust that things are as they should be and let go of a need for acceptance. All it does is dim your lovely little light. Feeding what  thrills you makes that light stronger. Makes you powerful. Creates success that you walk right into, quite naturally.

Here's an Example from My Life

Let me give you an example from my own life of the power in that. I am a writer and
speaker, so communicating with people is what I do, and why I am here.
 
It used to be, except for my accent, to read my writing or hear me speak, I sounded just like anyone else. I used all the proper nomenclature (which I had to learn to use because my mind sees things differently) and would share things in a way I thought people wanted them. I even looked the part as a speaker. I was in the home schooling industry and that meant a conservative blue jean jumper with tennis shoes. So, I'd dress the part.
 
I was not being myself. I was saying and doing, and trying to think, just like those in my niche. I'd keep my radically different ways of seeing things to myself. That is being mediocre, at best, and a sure fire way to have mediocre success. Not to mention, it took a lot of effort to cram myself into a mold and keep me there.
 
Now, twenty years later, I give into myself. I communicate in the unique way my mind produces it. Sometimes the things I say make absolutely no sense to people. But... there are those who it resonates so strongly with, they get understanding.

Isn't the Goal of Communication Understanding?

To develop an understanding in others of what you are trying to get across? Kabam! Mission accomplished... instant bond and a foundation
for a relationship based on intuitive trust.
 
While it is true that you might rise to the top of your field a little slower that way, the end results are worth the effort. Keep putting yourself out there, genuinely as you are. Your tribe will find you and the bond will be real and lasting.
 
As you serve your tribe, it will seem effortless. As long as you keep being authentic, you are in the magic zone. And that is just the beginning. A whole new world opens up before you when you remove limits from who you are and how you think and what you do. There is freedom and power in that. And it is free. It is accessible inside of. All you have to do is find it and get used to letting it shine.
 
Think of the innovators, the mover and shakers in your industry. Are they carbon copies of everyone else? Nope. They never are. That is why there are where they are in life. They dared to be themselves with gusto.

Are You Brave Enough to Do the Same?

Start today to get to know the real you, and commit to letting your unique light shine.
 
Then get out there and be shiny! I look forward to seeing the difference it makes in your
life.
 
Please, if this touched you, or if you have any feedback, please comment, like and share. 

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